Over all, it's an improvement on the first one. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, I feel, have improved their acting skills since HPPS, Daniel in particular. I felt that Tom Felton did a very good job as Draco this time around as well...his evil personality shone through a bit more, and I'm glad he got more screen time.
Top class from the adults. Richard Harris, it is safe to say, will be severely missed as Dumbledore. *sniff* He had some very good moments there, I think.
Alan Rickman....gorgeous as Snape. The scene at the beginning with Harry and Ron and of course, the duelling club scene, were very good moments. I just wish he got more screen time. PoA should have more of him in it.....I will personally kill Alfonso Cuaron if he cuts out the Snape boggart scene.
Other minor roles....Maggie Smith doing well as McGonagall (what you'd expect from such an actress) and Miriam Margoyles was very cute and sweet as Professor Sprout. Moaning Myrtle was perfect (egads! It's Jude from Bridget Jones' Diary!), I thought. I really love that woman's voice.
However, the best role, I think, of the film was Ken Branagh as Lockhart. I was a bit sceptical when this casting was announced, but I have to admit.....Branagh did a very, very good job. Got his smarm and smugness right down, even in all those pictures and paintings of him in his classroom.
And I can't forget Jason Issacs as Lucius Malfoy. Great performance there too. Had the smugness and the arrogance and evilness that was needed for the role. The man sneers beautifully.
Christian Coulson.....mmm, not bad. Moony, you did have a point. Perhaps he could've been a little more evil.....but it was a decent go. I don't know whether we'll see him again....perhaps, if we get flashbacks in any future books.
What else....the CGI was fairly good. Dobby annoyed me, but the Quidditch match, Fawkes and the Basilisk rocked. The sets and costumes were gorgeous....I'm in love with the Slytherin commonroom. It looks like the best place to live. And Dumbledore's office...all the wonderful gadgets and the headmaster's pictures. And the Weasley clock. Very true to the book.
I wept for the loss of the Valentines day scene and Gred and Forge's escorting Harry around, the gnome-tossing.....oh, and for Lucius and Arthur's fight in Flourish and Blotts.
What else bothered me......the lack of anything about Percy and Penelope. Sure, it was kind of pointless in the book, but I would've liked to have seen more of that instead of one little allusion to it. Also, the lack of a proper background to Tom Riddle. You leave out a vital plot point like that and things can get kind of confusing if you haven't read the books.
And....I noticed JKR's cameo appearance. Go me. :)
Yes.....that's my two knuts on CoS. PoA is looking to be a good prospect....I'm looking forward to seeing how Cuaron directs things and what he'll leave out and such. Also looking forward to see who gets the much-covetted roles of Lupin and Sirius and who the next Dumbledore will be. Whee!
Now, off to continue writing Love of Finished Years 12.